Rightly or wrongly, we tend to treat operating while intoxicated charges on a situational basis. Drive an automobile while hammered, and the world thumbs up its nose. Get drunk and take some other vehicle out for a spin, and the world tends to laugh it off. At least that’s what happened when Bill Murray had a few too many and raced his golf cart around Stockholm. Now, former Chicago Blackhawk and current Winnipeg Jet Dustin Byfuglien is in a similar boat and no doubt hoping the court of public opinion will let him off with a slap on the wrist.

The imposing twenty-six year old was reportedly in his native Minnesota on Wednesday when he decided to go boating. That’s not all together surprising considering everyone I’ve ever known from Minnesota owns at worst a kayak and at best multiple jet skis and a yacht, but the situation took a turn for the worse when Byfuglien was pulled over on suspicion of operating his craft with too much alcohol in his system. According to ESPN, Big Buff refused to consent to a blood test and was summarily booked by officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.

Luckily for Byfuglien, the NHL doesn’t come down nearly as hard on off the field offenders as the National Football League; so, he shouldn’t count on missing many, if any games. Plus, it’s not even clear if the district attorney will push the matter any further. I’m fully aware that drunk boating could potentially cause serious damage, but I would imagine those guilty of such a thing would no doubt be less likely to habitually offend. It’s not like boating is a viable option in Minnesota most months of the year anyway.

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